An innovative open-loop geothermal technology, Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems are primarily used for the storage of winter’s naturally-occurring cold temperatures by chilling groundwater and returning it to the aquifer to be used during warm weather for cooling purposes. However, warm water storage is also used in instances when there is excess heat readily available during summer months, drawing from a source such as solar electric panels, waste heat from industrial processes, or from another renewable source of energy production such as wind. In either direction, it relies on the seasonal storage of cold and/or warm groundwater in an aquifer. One way of applying Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage, is making use of an HDDW.
HDDW for Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage
The chief advantage of applying the HDDW technique on an aquifer thermal energy storage project is that HDDW can provide for thermal energy storage of a much higher capacity than other thermal energy storage solutions. Also, because an HDDW is horizontally drilled, aquifer thermal energy storage can be realized even in urban areas where land is very expensive. The same argument applies in natural environments, where an HDDW won’t take much space on surface level and thus will not influence flora and fauna.
An aquifer thermal energy storage system requires the presence of an aquifer on site, where a minimum of two thermal wells can be installed. ATES systems can also include heat exchangers, conveyance piping, and control systems necessary to integrate the system with an existing heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Advantages of using Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage systems
A particular strength of aquifer thermal energy storage systems, and where they most often provide the greatest financial benefits, is when aquifer thermal energy storage is used as one element in a comprehensive energy-supply strategy, augmenting an existing cooling or heating system. ATES systems are about four to six times more efficient than conventional heating and cooling systems because they eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels or use electricity in order to provide heating or cooling. Thus, aquifer thermal energy storage systems considerably reduce oil and electricity costs. For more information on the topic of aquifer thermal energy storage via one or more HDDW’s, feel free to contact us.